"Pachinko" - Min Jin Lee
Initial Response: Culturally Enlightening, Beautifully Sad
First Sentence: "History has failed us, but no matter." - Min Jin Lee
From the Reader: First off, I loved this cover. I had never heard about the game Pachinko which originated in Japan and is often used for gambling, the cover depicting the game in a beautiful array of color. I think the name of the book is more than a literal reference, as you follow a families story through countries, time, grief and change you are reminded that life is just like the game. Families gambling many aspects of their life in hopes for a change, either ending in rewards or disappointment. Following the story from Korea to Japan, took my heart and taught me so much about numerous cultures along the way.
Best With: I enjoyed this with a good but weak oolong tea as well as some green apple slices, delicious!
Recommend to: History lovers, world travelers, reading enthusiasts, and world historians or anyone enjoying a good long read with a rich story.
Ideal reading spot: Quiet spaces, public library or an art museum would do. I consider myself very lucky to have an excellent art museum near me in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Institute for Art (MIA) is currently featuring "Boundless Peaks: Ink Paintings by Minol Araki" I find these gorgeous ink paintings a good backdrop for the story.
Category: Chances of Rain. This family went through their fair share of trials and sorrows, this category is more than deserved.
On the Pages: This story begins in a small fishing village in Korea during the early 1900s. We follow a family who is abruptly split apart and moved to Japan, we follow them as they grow their family face successes and losses while suffering extreme discriminations. The story plot is superb with several points of view, giving you an excellent understanding for the characters and their actions.
Finale: We all have so much to learn from each other. Its a good book to reflect on, what sacrifices did your ancestors make that have provided you a better life?